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June 28, 2019 at 8:00 am · · 0 comments

Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Mark Stasium as New Treasurer

Mark Stasium, of Portland, Senior Vice President in the Commercial Real Estate Lending Division of Camden National Bank, has been elected to serve as Treasurer of the board of directors of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), a statewide organization of commercial real estate owners, developers and related service providers.  Mark succeeds Bill Shanahan, President of Northern New England Housing Investment Fund, a private, nonprofit corporation that promotes housing and community development in Maine and New Hampshire.  Mr. Shanahan will continue on as Assistant Treasurer for one additional year.

Mark works with commercial real estate investors and developers and is responsible for originating commercial real estate loan transactions in northern New England and Massachusetts.  Mark has 28 years of commercial lending and commercial credit experience, and prior to joining Camden National Bank, he was previously employed by Peoples Heritage Bank and TD Bank.  In addition to serving on MEREDA’s Board, Mark also volunteers his time on its Conference and Seminar Committee, and will now also serve on MEREDA’s Executive Committee.

“We thank Mark for his interest in stepping into this important leadership role,”  says Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations for MEREDA.  “Mark brings with him a wealth of industry knowledge and we look forward to working with him closely as we continue to promote MEREDA’s mission of supporting responsible development.

For further information, please contact MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark at 207-874-0801.

June 27, 2019 at 2:30 pm · · 0 comments

MEREDA Recognizes Three Longtime Retiring Board Members

Peter Merrill, Deputy Director of MaineHousing has retired from the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) Board of Directors after 16 years of service. MEREDA recognized Peter in 2018 with its Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award, which honors members of MEREDA who have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions to the real estate industry and/or to MEREDA over many years. In addition to serving on the board, Peter has served on MEREDA’s public policy committee for more than a decade, where his tremendous insight into of the workings of the legislature has provided MEREDA with invaluable counsel in its legislative endeavors.

Dana Totman, President and CEO of Avesta Housing also served as a contributing member of MEREDA’s Board of Directors for the past 16 years, and has also retired. Dana served on MEREDA’s Executive Committee as a Vice President from 2007 – 2010 and was also recognized with MEREDA’s Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award in 2013 for his contributions to the real estate industry and to MEREDA. Dana’s immense knowledge and expertise in real estate has significantly benefited MEREDA and its mission.

Brian Curley, AIA, LEED AP, president of PDT Architects has retired as well from MEREDA’s Board of Directors after 8 years of service. In addition to serving as one of MEREDA’s vice presidents since 2015, he has also been co-chair of the Conference Committee and served on the Executive Committee. Brian has been twice recognized with MEREDA’s President’s Award in both 2014 & 2016.

“MEREDA has been fortunate to have these three gentlemen serve on the board for many years,” commented Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations for MEREDA. “We are grateful for, and have benefited significantly from, their expertise and unwavering support throughout the years.”

Recognized at MEREDA’s June board of directors meeting, left to right are MEREDA’s President, Gary Vogel, Peter Merrill, Dana Totman, Brian Curley, and Shelly R. Clark, MEREDA’s VP of Operations

June 27, 2019 at 7:00 am · · 0 comments

Maine Real Estate & Development Association Announces 2019-20 Officers

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is pleased to announce its 2019-20 slate of officers, which include Bruce Jones of Creative Office Pavilion and Josh Fifield of Clark Insurance serving as Vice Presidents, Mark Stasium of Camden National Bank as Treasurer, and Bill Shanahan of Northern New England Housing Investment Fund as Assistant Treasurer. Gary Vogel of Drummond Woodsum will continue as President, in the second year of his two-year term, and Shelly R. Clark continues as Secretary of the Board in addition to serving full-time as the organization’s Vice President of Operations.

L-R: Gary Vogel, Bruce Jones, Josh Fifield, Bill Shanahan, Mark Stasium, and Shelly R. Clark

For further information, please contact MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark at 207-874-0801.

May 31, 2019 at 9:33 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser on May 23rd Raises Funds for Scholarships for 16 Maine Students

MEREDA’s 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Bowl-a-Thon Fundraiser on May 23rd Raises Funds for Scholarships for 16 Maine Students

Again this year, MEREDA is excited to be able to provide $20,000 in scholarships to students pursuing studies in building trades, architecture, construction, engineering or a business program at a Maine Community College (MCCS), or the College of Science, Technology & Health at the University of Southern Maine.  MEREDA began its scholarship program for students in the building trades and professions 7 years ago and has continued to grow and support the program.

“MEREDA is a strong supporter of trades and professions associated with real estate and the real estate development industry in Maine, and recognizes how important these professions, that provide good jobs and careers, have been to our state, the economy and the real estate industry.   The building trades and professions provide high paying lifelong opportunities for our residents,” said Gary Vogel of Drummond Woodsum and MEREDA president. “An educated workforce is vital to support economic development. We are pleased to help these deserving students achieve their goals and our members look forward to the contributions they will make to our industry, our state and our economy.”

Since the fundraiser’s inception, MEREDA is proud to have raised and donated over $107,000 in scholar­ships helping 78 Maine students by making it a little easier for them to achieve their goal of obtaining a college credential.

Many thanks to our generous sponsors AAA Energy Service Co., Zachau Construction, Verrill Dana, and Mainebiz, as well as our bowling teams for supporting this worthwhile cause.  Without their involvement, these substantial donations would not be possible

Check out more photos from the event on our Facebook page!

May 28, 2019 at 8:26 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA Brings Together Industry Leaders to Collaborate and Innovate on Housing

MEREDA Brings Together Industry Leaders to Collaborate and Innovate on Housing

On Tuesday, May 7, some 300 members of Maine’s real estate industry gathered in Portland for the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) 2019 Spring Conference on the future of housing in Maine.  With housing at a critical juncture in Maine, MEREDA and its members are committed to finding ways to respond to existing challenges and support responsible development for the future.

“MEREDA and its members want to be part of the solution, which is why we put this important conference together,” says Gary Vogel, MEREDA President. Vogel gave introductory remarks at the conference which brought together industry leaders to collaborate and innovate on finding solutions for the housing challenges Maine faces.

The conference included a keynote presentation by Dr. Lynn Fisher of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Dr. Fisher provided both national and state economic data, painting a bigger picture of the housing situation.  Reflecting on the nearly 10-year economic recovery in our country, Fisher says, “Economic expansion does not die of old age,” but noted it is important to recognize that this is a mature cycle.  Fisher’s presentation included a discussion of finding ways to produce more housing at a lower price point and seeking out inventive policies to address the myriad of issues inherent to housing in Maine.

Martin Ditto of Ditto Residential in Washington, D.C. also provided a keynote and spoke about his mission to build cohousing communities as one possible solution to the housing crisis.  He urged real estate developers to think beyond merely building houses, but to help create communities where people can connect with one another.

The event also included a panel discussion with local experts Dan Brennan of MaineHousing, Matt O’Malia of GO Logic, and Hannah Pingree the Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management, as well as questions from the audience.  Dan Brennan laid out the needs of Maine: “Maine needs 20,000 more affordable homes in the state.  Our most recent production has been around 300 units per year.  Our goal is to get to 1000.” On building affordable housing he continued, “We know how to do it, we’re just not doing enough of it.”

Looking to the future, Matt O’Malia and Hannah Pingree spoke on the need for more efficient homes.  O’Malia, an architect by training, has developed a sustainable insulation product made from wood fiber which will be produced in Maine and provide jobs for Mainers.  Making homes more efficient and better insulated is a goal of Governor Mills’ administration, and Pingree spoke about the challenge of keeping people in their homes and able to afford to heat them.

With the advent of tiny homes and 3-D printed homes, the panel acknowledged the need for more innovative approaches to housing. Whether or not people will want these types of homes remains a question, but thinking outside the box on how to produce affordable housing needs to be part of the conversation.  As Fisher pointed out earlier in the conference, innovation also needs to be applied to the policy side of things.  Having a few brave mayors and town councils try out different zoning policies could have a big impact on how communities can answer the need for housing.

At the end of the day, the conference showed that there are no easy answers to the housing problem in Maine, but getting the right people together in the room to discuss ideas and solutions is where we need to start. “We look forward to continuing this conversation with developers, governmental officials, lenders, brokers and homebuyers to work on turning the ideas from the conference into practice and working on additional solutions to the housing issues faced by Mainers,” said Vogel.

May 20, 2019 at 1:23 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA Welcomes Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development

MEREDA Welcomes Heather Johnson, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development

The Department of Economic & Community Development’s broad mission is to help communities and businesses prosper through a variety of programs providing everything from targeted tax relief to community block grants to tourism marketing. DECD and its partners show companies how to benefit from millions of dollars in tax credits, reimbursements, R & D credits, capital loans, even direct investment.

Join us on June 19th at the Holiday Inn By the Bay to hear about the Commissioner’s first few months in office, and learn about what she sees as opportunities and threats for Maine’s economy, and what may come out of the legislative session to advance the economy.  We’ll also learn what Maine is doing to be competitive and what programs DECD uses to assist development together with specific success stories.

Following her formal remarks, Commissioner Johnson will welcome questions from the audience.

About the Event:

June 19, 2019 – 7:30 – 9:00 AM

Holiday Inn by the Bay
88 Spring Street
Portland, ME

Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:00 AM
Program: 8:00 – 9:00 AM

Our Presenter:

Heather Johnson grew up in Skowhegan and graduated from the University of Maine. She began her career by building a diverse background in the private technology sector including sales, operations and general management roles at Nokia, Gateway and Toshiba. With continually expanding roles she created startup operations inside large companies, developed new products for new markets, and ran a $1.2 billion retail business.

After leaving the private sector, Heather had the opportunity to concentrate on rural economic development at Somerset Economic Development Corporation. During her time as the Executive Director she focused on key economic drivers such as; connectivity, workforce participation, and potential growth markets.

While serving as the Director of ConnectME Heather was responsible for managing a small grant program, mapping key assets, working with communities and businesses to help them identify needs and opportunities to utilize connectivity to enable their goals. Heather was able to able to make changes that positions the ConnectME to move forward into the connectivity space.

As Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development Heather continues to dedicate her career to fostering economic development, both in private companies and in rural communities across Maine.

Registering for this Event: Click Here to Register Now

Your RSVP is requested by June 12, 2019. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted  to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after June 12, 2019.

Ticket Prices:

Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $55 ea
Prices increase by $10 after June 12, 2019

This MEREDA Morning Menu Breakfast Event is Sponsored by Norway Savings Bank.

 

May 15, 2019 at 10:15 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA Brings Together Industry Leaders to Collaborate and Innovate on Housing

MEREDA Brings Together Industry Leaders to Collaborate and Innovate on Housing

On Tuesday, May 7, some 300 members of Maine’s real estate industry gathered in Portland for the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) 2019 Spring Conference on the future of housing in Maine.  With housing at a critical juncture in Maine, MEREDA and its members are committed to finding ways to respond to existing challenges and support responsible development for the future.

“MEREDA and its members want to be part of the solution, which is why we put this important conference together,” says Gary Vogel, MEREDA President. Vogel gave introductory remarks at the conference which brought together industry leaders to collaborate and innovate on finding solutions for the housing challenges Maine faces.

The conference included a keynote presentation by Dr. Lynn Fisher of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Dr. Fisher provided both national and state economic data, painting a bigger picture of the housing situation.  Reflecting on the nearly 10-year economic recovery in our country, Fisher says, “Economic expansion does not die of old age,” but noted it is important to recognize that this is a mature cycle.  Fisher’s presentation included a discussion of finding ways to produce more housing at a lower price point and seeking out inventive policies to address the myriad of issues inherent to housing in Maine.

Martin Ditto of Ditto Residential in Washington, D.C. also provided a keynote and spoke about his mission to build cohousing communities as one possible solution to the housing crisis.  He urged real estate developers to think beyond merely building houses, but to help create communities where people can connect with one another.

The event also included a panel discussion with local experts Dan Brennan of MaineHousing, Matt O’Malia of GO Logic, and Hannah Pingree the Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management, as well as questions from the audience.  Dan Brennan laid out the needs of Maine: “Maine needs 20,000 more affordable homes in the state.  Our most recent production has been around 300 units per year.  Our goal is to get to 1000.” On building affordable housing he continued, “We know how to do it, we’re just not doing enough of it.”

Looking to the future, Matt O’Malia and Hannah Pingree spoke on the need for more efficient homes.  O’Malia, an architect by training, has developed a sustainable insulation product made from wood fiber which will be produced in Maine and provide jobs for Mainers.  Making homes more efficient and better insulated is a goal of Governor Mills’ administration, and Pingree spoke about the challenge of keeping people in their homes and able to afford to heat them.

With the advent of tiny homes and 3-D printed homes, the panel acknowledged the need for more innovative approaches to housing. Whether or not people will want these types of homes remains a question, but thinking outside the box on how to produce affordable housing needs to be part of the conversation.  As Fisher pointed out earlier in the conference, innovation also needs to be applied to the policy side of things.  Having a few brave mayors and town councils try out different zoning policies could have a big impact on how communities can answer the need for housing.

At the end of the day, the conference showed that there are no easy answers to the housing problem in Maine, but getting the right people together in the room to discuss ideas and solutions is where we need to start. “We look forward to continuing this conversation with developers, governmental officials, lenders, brokers and homebuyers to work on turning the ideas from the conference into practice and working on additional solutions to the housing issues faced by Mainers,” said Vogel.

May 1, 2019 at 11:36 am · · Comments Off on Make Plans to Join MEREDA on June 4 to Learn About the State of Housing in Bangor

Make Plans to Join MEREDA on June 4 to Learn About the State of Housing in Bangor

Housing has become a large topic of conversation in service center communities across the state.  Businesses, families and individuals are being impacted by Maine’s recent economic trends; rising construction costs, rental affordability challenges and limits on the supply of both market and affordable housing options are hampering communities in different ways.

An overview of recent portfolio sales of apartment properties, in the Bangor market, will be presented.  In addition, a regional summary of multi-family housing development will be provided.

Make plans to join us in Bangor on June 4th at Hollywood Casino to learn about Bangor’s recent months long study of its housing issues and hear about what City officials and area partners are doing to impact the supply, quality and affordability of housing in the Queen City.

About the Event: Download the Event Brochure

June 4, 2019 – 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.

Hollywood Casino Bangor
500 Main Street
Bangor, ME

Buffet Breakfast: 7:30 – 8:00 a.m.
Program: 8:00 – 9:00 a.m.

Our Presenters:

Philip S. Drew, City Assessor has been serving in his current position since January 2015.  He is responsible for all aspects of the day to day operation and long term planning of the Assessing Department, managing the departmental personnel, and conducting assessments of personal and real property for the City of Bangor.

Philip currently, serves as a board member of the Maine Chapter of the International Association of Assessors. Philip lives in Glenburn with his wife Mary.

Jeff Wallace, a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, has worked for the City of Bangor for ten years.  During the first nine years he managed the City’s home repair program; said program provided low interest loans to Low to Moderate Income homeowners to complete needed repairs.  He has been a certified Code Enforcement Officer since 2014 and the Director of Code Enforcement since April, 2018.  He lives in Bangor with his wife Kristen and two children, Zachary and Sarah.

Jason Bird is the Housing Development Director for Penquis.  Jason oversees an existing portfolio of over 300 units of affordable housing in the Eastern Maine region and is responsible for developing new affordable housing and acquiring existing rental housing properties.

Before joining Penquis, Jason worked for 10 years doing community and economic development at the municipal and regional levels. Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration, both from the University of Maine.  He currently serves on the Board of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition.

Registering for this Event: Click Here to Register Now

Your RSVP is requested by May 28, 2019. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted  to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after May 28, 2019.

Ticket Prices:

Members: $25 each | Non-Members: $35 ea
Prices increase by $10 after May 28, 2019

MEREDA’s Morning Menu Breakfast “The State of Housing in Bangor” is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, Bowman Constructors and the City of Bangor. 

April 20, 2019 at 3:45 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA is Proud to Host its 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Fundraising Event at Bayside Bowl in Portland on May 23

MEREDA is Proud to Host its 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Fundraising Event at Bayside Bowl in Portland on May 23

MEREDA is proud to host its 7th Annual “Strikes for Scholars” Fundraising Event at Bayside Bowl in Portland on May 23, 2019.  “Strikes for Scholars” supports scholarships for Maine students pursuing studies in building trades, architecture, construction, engineering or a business program at a Maine Community College (MCCS), or the College of Science, Technology & Health at the University of Southern Maine.

MEREDA strongly supports a strong education system.  In fact, over the past 5 years, MEREDA is proud to have raised and donated over $87,000 in scholarships helping over 62 Maine students by making it a little easier for them to achieve their goal of obtaining a college credential. Last year alone, we raised enough funds to provide 16 $1250 sponsorships!

Click here to read more about this event.

April 10, 2019 at 3:41 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA Celebrates Real Estate Development in Maine: Six Development Teams to Earn Recognition

MEREDA Celebrates Real Estate Development in Maine: Six Development Teams to Earn Recognition

Augusta, Boothbay Harbor, Topsham, Portland, Waterville, and Westbrook projects to receive awards from Maine Real Estate & Development Association on May 7

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), the state’s leading organization for responsible real estate development, has selected the top six real estate developments in Maine in 2018, and will present awards to each at its annual Spring Conference in Portland on May 7 at the Holiday Inn By the Bay.

The MEREDA board of directors has selected exemplary projects from across the state, completed in 2018, which not only embody MEREDA’s belief in responsible real estate development, but also exemplify best practices in the industry, contributing to excellent jobs and increased tax bases for our cities and towns.

Each of the six projects was selected in part based upon criteria including: noteworthy and significant project completed* in 2018 (*Building Occupancy Permit must be issued by 12 31 18.), environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact, uniqueness, difficulty of development and job creation. The recipients are:

  • Westbrook Housing, Westbrook Development Corporation, and Anew Development’s Riverview  Terrace in Westbrook
  • Dirigo Capital Advisors’ Ballard Center in Augusta
  • Paul G. Coulombe’s Boothbay Harbor Country Club in Boothbay Harbor
  • Colby College’s Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons in Waterville
  • Developers Collaborative & Sea Coast Management’s The Motherhouse in Portland
  • Bateman Partners’ Topsham Care Center in Topsham

Click here to learn more about the recipients and make plans to join us on May 7th as we recognize these developments at our 2019 Annual Spring Conference. Full registration details are available by clicking here.